Objective. Diabetes in pregnancy is a significant problem for low-income, minority women. We sought to evaluate barriers to diabetes self-care during pregnancy in an underserved population. Methods. Twenty-nine in-depth, semi-structured interviews were performed over 10 women’s pregnancies to identify barriers to successful diabetes management, using cognitive load theory to frame interview questions. Qualitative analysis of interview data used grounded theory techniques. Results. Fifty percent of this cohort of minority, low-income, public aid-supported women had pregestational diabetes. Six barrier domains were identified: diabetes novelty; social and economic chaos; nutrition challenges; psychological stressors; burden of disease management; and outcome expectation inability to promote behavior change. Conclusions. Low-income women face multiple barriers to successful diabetes self-care during pregnancy. Ability to achieve diabetes goals in pregnancy is influenced by several social, cognitive, and knowledge-based factors. Understanding this complex interplay of factors impacting diabetes management may help providers work with patients in achieving healthy pregnancies.


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pp. 926-940
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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